Co-Living Startups Are Reinventing The Roommate Concept

By Annie Sciacca and Marisa Kendall
The Mercury News

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Co-living spaces can be especially attractive to young people as the shared homes offer both an affordable place to live and a ready-made group of friends.


As demand for housing stays high across the Bay Area, a new trend in group living has come to the region.

A far cry from the commune movement of the 1970s, companies are offering modern shared-living arrangements, renting out space in multi-bedroom units to those who want the affordability or companionship of living with roommates without having to find their own roommates. As a bonus, these “co-living” spaces also often provide amenities such as cleaning services and HBO.

The latest addition to the mix is a company called Common, which works with developers and building owners to create apartments that are conducive to roommate life. Most units have three or four bedrooms and a common area that includes a kitchen and living room.

Potential renters apply through Common for a room, and if they are accepted, they can get a minimum six-month lease, though according to company staff, most sign on for a year.

Living with roommates is nothing new, of course, but a growing crop of startups is seeking to make the process streamlined, and turning co-living into big business.

“It’s a big trend that’s here to stay, for as long as a lot more people want to move into big cities,” said Niko Bonatsos, managing director of General Catalyst and an investor in co-living startup HubHaus.

Other companies have sprung up in recent years to serve a largely millennial audience with similar arrangements.

WeLive, from the people who started co-working company WeWork, has buildings in New York and Washington, D.C., that let people stay for as little as one night, though they can also live there longer term.

Related News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *